Mentalizing, Credibility Enhancing Displays, and Supernatural Beliefs

Talk by David Maij, Amsterdam University

2017.03.06 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Date Tue 04 Apr
Time 13:00 14:30
Location IMC Meeting Room, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, Building 1483-312


The ability to mentalize has been marked as an important cognitive mechanism enabling belief in supernatural agents. In five studies we cross-culturally investigated the relationship between mentalizing and belief in supernatural agents with large sample sizes (over 67,000 participants in total) and different operationalizations of mentalizing. The relative importance of mentalizing was directly compared with credibility enhancing displays – the extent to which people observed credible religious acts during their upbringing. We also compared autistic with neurotypical adolescents. 


David Maij, Amsterdam University